Vaccine Information

Current Eligibility

Appointments are now available to anyone 18 years and older at any Choctaw Nation Clinic. Those 12-18 years old are able to receive the Pfizer vaccine at our Durant, Poteau and Talihina locations. Appointments are encouraged and will be limited daily per clinic.

Currently, the CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Please contact your physician with any questions.

Appointments

To make an appointment to receive the vaccine, call 800-349-7026 ext. 6, use your myCNHSA app, or visit my.cnhsa.com.

If the 1-800 number doesn't work, the clinics direct lines are below.

Clinics

Clinic
Clinic Number
Extension(s)
Atoka
580-889-1981
32001 or 32011
Durant
580-920-2100
Press 0
Hugo
580-326-7561
35086, 35011, or 35012
Idabel
580-286-2600
41011
McAlester
918-423-8440
31016, 31012, or 31001
Poteau
918-649-1100
61124 or 61175
Stigler
918-967-9200
34010 and 34011
Talihina
918-567-7000
6728

COVID-19 Testing

In order to provide the fastest experience during COVID-19 testing, please complete and print the consent form if you have not been seen at a CNHSA facility. You will need your identification card to be tested. If you have insurance, you'll also present your insurance card.

Consent Form

CNHSA Visitor Restrictions

Due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Southeastern Oklahoma, it has become necessary to reinstate some of the previous visitor restrictions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Everyone must wear a mask at all times while at a CNHSA facility.

Visitor restrictions are as follows:

  • Med-Surg patients will not be allowed a visitor. (1 assistive person may be allowed)
  • ER and Clinic patients will only be allowed one parent or assistive person if needed. Otherwise, no visitors will be allowed to come with them.
  • Labor and Delivery patients will be allowed two visitors (total) but they must be tested for COVID-19 and cannot come and go from the facility.
  • Women's health patients can have significant others present for certain events.
  • Prenatal Visits – 1 visitor allowed
  • Gynecology Visits – No visitors
  • Drivers for patients having surgical procedures can wait in the building while wearing a mask and after screening at the door.
  • Or patients requiring COVID-19 testing will be tested in the parking lot when possible.
  • Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will be triaged, examined, and swabbed outdoors when possible.
  • No Sleep Studies will be performed in the hospital.

Vaccine News

Vaccine FAQs

Which vaccine are you giving out?
The Choctaw Nation has both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Primarily, the Pfizer vaccine is available at the Durant, Poteau, and Talihina locations and Moderna at the remaining clinics. Exceptions will be made as necessary to adequately supply our clinics with enough vaccine for the current demand. Both provide protection against the coronavirus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available on request at some locations and events, but is limited on supply.

Where is Choctaw Nation getting their vaccine supply?
Choctaw Nation has partnered with Indian Health Services for their vaccine supply.

How do I get the vaccine?
Call 800-349-7026, choose option 6, then select your clinic of choice to make an appointment. Vaccines are only available by appointment.

What days of the week and times can I schedule an appointment?
Schedulers at each of the locations will be setting appointments during regular business hours. Days and times vary by location. Schedulers are also working towards calling their eligible patients to make appointments proactively.

Do I need to bring anything to my appointment?
You will need to bring your ID and insurance card to your appointment. If you will be getting your second dose, please bring the card you received from your first dose appointment.

Will it cost me anything?
No, the vaccine is provided at no charge to anyone.

Where can I find more about the vaccines themselves?
Some information is found on this page. The CDC has more information.

I'm allergic to eggs. Can I still get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, neither of the vaccines currently available have any sort of egg protein.

I recently had COVID-19. Do I need to wait to be vaccinated?
It depends. If you had to be treated with convalescent plasma or passive antibody therapy, you must wait 90 days. If you did not receive this treatment, you only have to wait until your quarantine period is over and you feel recovered.

I just had a shingles or flu shot. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, the CDC guidelines have changed regarding simultaneous vaccines and you do not need to wait to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Misconceptions

  • Over 35 million doses of Pfizer and 33 million doses of Moderna vaccines have been administered in the U.S.
  • Choctaw Nation has given over 39,000 vaccine doses in our clinics and at vaccination events.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone 12 years of age and older.
  • The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to anyone 18 years of age and older.

Are you hesitant in getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Here are common misconceptions regarding COVID-19 vaccines and the scientific answers proving why they are false.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the virus or DNA, nor does it have DNA of the virus. The virus is an infective agent that consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat. The vaccine is a piece of mRNA (instructional, single-stranded, not double) that tells your body's immune cells to make antibodies against the now-familiar "spike" protein. It does not tell our body to make the virus, only to make antibodies to the spike protein. The mRNA vaccine never enters cell nucleus where your DNA is located. These special immune cells display the spike protein which makes the rest of the immune system recognize it as bad and begin making antibodies. This reaction is just like your body's natural response to a virus. When your body has any virus, it enters your body's cells, takes off its (protein) coat, enters the cell nucleus, and exposes its viral genome, using that cell to make more RNA and proteins needed to replicate and multiply. Viruses are predators, being MUCH more invasive and having MUCH more interaction with your cell nucleus. They do things to your cells to propagate themselves. To avoid things entering your cell nucleus and having access to your DNA and your DNA getting changed, you DO NOT want to get the virus.

The mRNA vaccines enter the cell where their message is read OUTSIDE the cell nucleus, never entering the nucleus itself. Once the message is read, the cell produces a protein outside alerting the rest of the immune system and starts making the spike protein antibodies.

Vaccines are expected to receive full FDA approval within 6-9 months, if not sooner. The FDA does not want the public to believe one vaccine is better than the other because it was approved first. This is resulting in the FDA being strategic and careful, proving to the public that no steps were skipped or rushed. To date, more doses have been given, with fewer adverse reactions, than with many other fully FDA approved drugs. With the many millions of doses given, it is unlikely that either mRNA vaccine will cause enough serious or severe adverse events to cause it to be deemed unsafe. The effectiveness of the vaccine has already been proven. To be approved, a drug or vaccine must be deemed safe and effective for its intended purpose.

Misinformation on social media suggests the vaccine trains the body to attack syncytin-1 (a protein in the placenta) potentially leading to infertility in women. There is an amino acid sequence shared between spike protein and a placental protein, and experts say it is too short to trigger an immune response and does not affect fertility. Therefore, your body is not likely to create antibodies against that shared sequence affecting the placenta or fertility.

After only six patients out of 3 million (0.0002%) complained about blood clots, the FDA suspended the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) single dose, "old fashioned" vaccine for further review. Through media coverage, the side effect became widespread knowledge throughout the U.S. The mRNA vaccines have been given 23 times more frequently than the J&J, and in turn, we are 23 times more likely to hear about side effects with either of the two mRNA vaccines.

Feeling achy, running a low-grade temperature, uneasiness, rash, and tiredness are expected and are not considered "severe" reactions. These symptoms are known, expected outcomes from getting any vaccination, and a GOOD sign that your body responds as it should and produces antibodies. It is your immune system "doing its thing." Some people have a strong immune system and report feeling down and out for about 36 hours usually after their second dose, or first dose if they recently had COVID. The most common complaints from vaccinations are a sore arm and a rash at the injection site (COVID arm). The Choctaw Nation has given over 39,000 doses with very few serious (and no severe) reactions. Most serious reactions have been related to the patient's anxiety over the shot itself, and we have not seen the level of severe allergic reactions that were anticipated with the vaccine. We screen each patient very carefully and ask very pointed questions about past allergic reactions to properly medicate the patient if needed and avert an allergic reaction.

You did have immunity…for a while. How long varies from person to person. Naturally acquired antibodies decline typically 3-6 months after the infection. The data currently shows the mRNA vaccines last 6-9 months on average before their effectiveness decreases.

The vaccine is very high-tech; however, technology is not advanced enough to include microchips in vaccines. For peace of mind, mRNA vaccines are packaged in multidose vials. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are generally implanted between the layers of skin. There isn't a way to get a microchip pulled through a syringe from a multidose vial and then implanted into a patient's skin.

There are also concerns regarding a viral video claiming syringe maker Apiject Systems of America has a version of its products that contain a microchip. The microchip monitors the syringe contents and helps providers confirm the vaccine dose's origin. For further peace of mind, the Choctaw Nation does not use syringes made by Apiject Systems of America.

The mRNA molecules are designed to send a "message" for a short time. Our cells are constantly reading mRNA strands and producing resultant proteins. This creates a process for the cell to continually clean up "used" or "out of date" mRNA.

The cells that display the spike protein (cells that originally read mRNA) that stimulate the immune response have a natural life cycle. Once mRNA is naturally degraded, and the natural life cycle of the cell has passed, only actual antibodies remain. The whole process is very clean and utilizes the body's naturally occurring functions to get a precise result.

This is a popular topic on social media as it touches on the sanctity of life. Most media posts cite cell lines obtained from aborted fetuses from the 1970s that have been sustained in a lab since that time. The use of these cells has saved millions of lives and has been used in countless studies, as well as in developed and tested products. Both Johnson & Johnson and Astra Zeneca were developed on these cell lines. However, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only used the cell lines for testing purposes. Neither mRNA vaccine contains or have been in contact with the cell lines. The Catholic Church stated the mRNA vaccines are preferred, but even the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can be used.

Similar concerns arise regarding Jewish and Muslim patients and whether vaccines contain non-kosher ingredients or pork-derived gelatins, of which they do not.

All three religious governing bodies have given their stamp of approval for all three vaccinations.

Vegans concerned about the vaccine containing pork-derived gelatins also do not need to worry, as the mRNA vaccines do not.

Sources:
CDC.gov A Closer Look at How mRNA Vaccines Work
Immunology.org How Do Viruses Replicate
MUHealth.org COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths vs. Facts
Albawaba.com Halal or Haram! Muslims, Christians, Jews and Vegans Debate Status of COVID-19 Vaccine The Node Pub 23 Dec. 2020.

Cancellations

As a public health precaution to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has decided to make the following cancellations or changes. Given how quickly this situation is evolving, the Choctaw Nation will continue to provide updates to this page.

  • Labor Day Festival Scheduled for Sept. 3-5, 2021 has been canceled
  • Futures of Basketball Scheduled for Sept. 17 has been postponed, to be rescheduled in the Spring of 2022.
  • Community Health Representative Fall Festival Scheduled for Sept. 22, 2021 has been canceled
  • Harvest Carnival Scheduled for Oct. 15, 2021 has been canceled
  • Community Centers Wednesday Senior Nutrition meals will resume drive-through only service beginning on Aug. 11
  • All Choctaw Nation facilities Guests will be encouraged to wear masks

News Release

From Jason Hill, D.O., Chief Medical Officer, Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority

All of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (some directly, others indirectly). To help you make the best choice for you and your family, we are providing you with the below facts:

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine require two doses. You will be informed upon your initial dose when to come in for your second dose (two-three weeks after the initial date).
  • COVID-19 vaccination will significantly reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. Experts continue to conduct studies about the effect of the vaccine on severity of illness should you become infected by COVID-19 after the dose of vaccination.
  • The vaccines have high rates of protection, at more than 90% effective.
  • COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19.
  • Messenger RNA vaccines — also called mRNA vaccines — are the most spoken about vaccines in the U.S. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
  • COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests, but if your body develops an immune response, you may test positive on some antibody tests.
  • People who have already endured COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated, as there are multiple strains of COVID-19.
  • The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority. CNHSA associates who will be storing or administering the vaccine will undergo training and check-offs.
  • At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines will be used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). More Information
  • The COVID-19 vaccine will be given at no cost to the American people.
  • Commonly reported adverse effects from the COVID vaccine include: pain and redness at the injection site, fatigue, headache, fever, chills, and muscle and joint aches.
  • For more information,

If you have more questions, please speak with your primary care physician.